Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Gut instinct

by Amber Schmidt | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Wellness | May 3rd, 2017

While many of us suffer with the occasional upset stomach, long-term digestive issues can lead to increased problems down the road. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 60 to 70 million Americans suffer from some form of digestive disease. Believe it or not, your digestive system can tell you a lot more about yourself than your brain is sometimes capable of.

You may have heard someone tell you to follow your gut feelings before and there’s actual science behind the metaphor. Our brain and gut work synergistically, ping-ponging information off one another. If something in our system goes haywire, it can throw us off both emotionally and physically. Therefore it is crucial to pay attention to any warning signs your gut may be sending out.

So why is gut health so important? The human digestive system is a powerhouse of bacteria. These bacteria, also known as gut microbiota, work independently via the body's “second brain,” known as the enteric nervous system, ENS for short. It contains millions upon millions of neurons that connect directly to the brain.

This micro-ecosystem of sorts is also responsible for keeping tabs on what is going on with our gut. The human body can have trillions of microbiota at any given time, which play a key role in our health. When our gut is compromised, it can adversely affect our body in the long run.

There are many simple and effective ways to improve digestive health. Altering your diet may not only lead to fewer stomach issues, but may tell you that your body isn’t reacting well to something like sugar or gluten. Try to eat less refined sugar and grain.

Refined and processed foods lack basic nutrients that our bodies crave, and may lead to compromised gut health. Healthier alternatives include whole and unprocessed foods.

Remember that not all carbohydrates are bad, but refined ones should be avoided. If you are already suffering, try to avoid acidic foods, caffeine and dairy products; these foods are known to irritate an already upset stomach.

Fermented foods are also beneficial for gut health. Foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha contain probiotics, friendly bacteria that boost immune system function and help boost colon health. If these foods aren’t up your alley, any health food store will offer probiotics in pill form, powder or liquid instead.

Another alternative to fermented foods is drinking bone broth on a regular basis. Bone broth is abundant in collagen, glycine and glutamine. These compounds not only support optimal digestion, but joint health as well. To reap the true benefits of bone broth, be sure to avoid using bouillon cubes or stock from a grocery store. They are typically loaded with sodium and artificial ingredients. Either make your own at home, or purchase true bone broth from a trusted natural health store.

Many are aware of the benefits of probiotics when it comes to both immune and digestive health, but prebiotics are another important factor to consider as well. Prebiotics actually help feed probiotics, which in turn can help improve overall health. So what exactly are they anyways? Prebiotics are a form of non-digestible fiber that is helpful in nourishing probiotics. These compounds can be found in foods such as raw garlic, leeks, asparagus and onions.

If you are experiencing digestive issues, there are also many natural products to consider to help soothe an upset stomach. Aloe vera juice is a known digestive tract soother and can be consumed either on its own or combined with juice. Ginger root is also wonderful for an upset stomach. DGL, or De-Glycyrrhizinated Licorice also has a well known history for its ability to help support digestive system health. Everyone’s body is different, so make sure to try a few different combinations to find what works best for you!

Even making the smallest changes to your diet can lead to an overwhelming difference in the way you feel. Remember that intuition is a powerful communicator. So the next time your tummy is grumbling or you’re feeling those all too familiar butterflies in your stomach, make sure you listen to your gut! It may be trying to tell you more than you think. 

Recently in:

BISMARCK – The Dakota Access Pipeline developer agreed to plant trees to reach a settlement over two misconduct allegations while constructing the pipeline on Wednesday. A total of 20,000 trees are to be planted by December 31,…

photo by Meg Luther Lindholm.Ibtissem (pronounced Ib-tiss-em) Belmihoub is both enjoying her time in Fargo as a doctoral student in Rhetoric, Writing and Culture at NDSU and a community volunteer. She is currently the Project…

Wed-Fri, September 27-29, 8pm; Sat-Sun, 2pmComstock Theatre, Concordia College, 901 8th St S, MoorheadIt is October, 1517, at Wittenberg University in northern Germany, where students and faculty begin another academic year. A…

Our opinion: We’re more than the sum of our partsOver the weekend I was telling a friend of mine that one of the most valuable things a person can gain in life is perspective. My time at the High Plains Reader has gifted me just…

What kind of characters would charge $99 for a case of water?In the days before the solar eclipse safety glasses sold for $8.95 for a five-pack of certified glasses. The day before the eclipse the price was raised to $59. During…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Brand new and satisfying in so many waysI ventured into Tru Blu on Sunday at noon. As soon as I entered I was immediately astonished by the interior. It’s gorgeous! The brown tufted booths and dark wood give the impression that…

Fall is arriving, and that of course means that the new season of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks” series sponsored by Sanford Health is right around the corner.In the last couple concert seasons they…

Rom-coms are a staple of modern movies and have been for well over a century. This summer two very different variations on the genre spotlighting iconic 20th-century superstars made their Blu-ray debuts from Kino-Lorber. One is a…

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This nonprofit organization described their mission as “To identify students with their exceptional artistic and literary talent and…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Up here where it’s north of normal, we can pretty much count on our first cold snap to hit right about now, and the 90 degree day we JUST HAD seems like a distant memory. Goodbye pool parties, BBQs and the patio hang sesh. Hello…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Robert Franklin, Esq.parents@nationalparentsorganization.orgIn North Dakota, a child’s chances of spending meaningful time with each parent following divorce have less to do with his parents than what county they divorce…